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RtI in Early Childhood. Lisa Kelly-Vance, UNO and Kristy Feden, Papillion-LaVista Schools. Special Thanks and Acknowledgement. Brigette Ryalls, UNO UNO School Psychology Graduate students Papillion-LaVista Public Schools Our House Children’s Learning Center, Papillion, NE

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rti in early childhood

RtI in Early Childhood

Lisa Kelly-Vance, UNO and Kristy Feden, Papillion-LaVista Schools

special thanks and acknowledgement
Special Thanks and Acknowledgement
  • Brigette Ryalls, UNO
  • UNO School Psychology Graduate students
  • Papillion-LaVista Public Schools
  • Our House Children’s Learning Center, Papillion, NE
  • Sarpy County Head Start
  • University Committee on Research
presentation outline
Presentation Outline
  • General early childhood practices and RtI
  • Nebraska initiatives and practices and RtI
  • Application of play assessment and intervention
  • Pilot study overview
key ec principles
Key EC Principles
  • Prevention
  • Natural environment (LRE)
key rti components
Key RtI Components
  • Multi-level system
  • Data-based decision-making
    • Regular data collection
    • Use of data to assign children to tiers
    • More intense interventions need more frequent and direct assessment
  • Scientific research-based instruction and interventions
    • Based on data
      • Research
      • Progress monitoring data
integrating ec and rti
Integrating EC and RTI
  • Prevention is critical to RtI
  • Natural environment can be supported through tiered system
  • Frequent data collection
  • Standards for EC programs relate to research-based instruction
the good news
The good news….
  • Many RtI components are already in place
  • The system is good for ALL children
    • Head Start
    • Center based
    • Child care programs
    • Preschools
quality indicators of rti
Quality Indicators of RtI
  • Organizational Capacity
    • Program-wide buy-in and implementation plan
    • Team Leadership
    • Integration of Services
    • Implementation Infrastructure
program wide buy in and implementation plan
Program-wide buy-in and implementation plan
  • May be easier in EC settings
  • Regular training occurs already
  • Can include RtI components in any program’s plan
team leadership
Team leadership
  • A variety of people can take leadership roles
  • Administrators, teachers, staff, parents generally are highly invested
integration of services
Integration of Services
  • A great deal of collaboration already exists across disciplines.
  • Kristy will discuss this more
implementation infrastructure
Implementation Infrastructure
  • Training is highly valued
  • Support and resources can be made available
  • EC personnel are often very creative at activating new resources
quality indicators of rti1
Quality Indicators of RtI
  • Quality Process
    • Parent involvement
    • Universal screening and assessment
    • Individual progress monitoring
    • Planned service delivery decision rules
    • Scientifically supported instruction
    • Intervention delivery
    • Verification issues
parent involvement
Parent involvement
  • Informing parents about RtI may be easier
  • Parent components are already in place
  • Will need to document efforts to inform and involve parents in RtI
universal screening and assessment
Universal screening and assessment
  • All assessments meet state standards
  • Data-based and psychometrically sound
  • Link to classroom performance
  • Assist with finding students who need more
individual progress monitoring
Individual progress monitoring
  • Procedures must be objective, reliable, valid and sensitive
  • Use of problem-solving process
    • Define behavior
    • Develop and implement appropriate monitoring system
    • Develop and implement appropriate interventions
    • Change plan when needed
planned service delivery decision rules
Planned service delivery decision rules
  • Use of universal screening and progress monitoring data
  • Need to develop norms to be able to have appropriate decision-making rules for children’s services
scientifically supported instruction
Scientifically supported instruction
  • Applies to core instruction as well as more individualize interventions
  • Training needed in how to evaluate programs
  • Training needed in how to evaluate research
intervention delivery
Intervention delivery
  • Training needed in intervention selection
  • Resources are critical here
  • Training needed in how to evaluate intervention effectiveness
  • Training needed in how to evaluate research
verification issues
Verification issues
  • May not be as much of an issue in EC compared to School Aged
  • DD verification may be more utilized
    • Fits well with RtI
current trends in early childhood why the timing is right for rti
Current Trends in Early ChildhoodWhy the timing is right for RtI…
  • Accountability for early childhood programming
  • Natural Environment/LRE
  • Service Delivery
  • Best Practices regarding Assessment
  • IDEA 2004—Led to required “State Performance Plan” or SPP specifically related to early childhood
    • SPP is to have specific preschool outcomes
    • progress made toward those outcomes is reported annually to OSEP (Office for Special Education Programs)
The Early Childhood Outcomes Center (ECO)
    • Funded in 2003
    • Addresses measurement issues related to meeting federal mandates around child and family outcomes
  • ECO/OSEP generated the following outcomes:
Positive social-emotional skills
    • including social relationships
  • Acquisition and use of knowledge and skills
    • including early language/communication and early literacy
  • Use of appropriate behaviors to meet their needs
In Nebraska, this process has been termed “Results Matter”
    • “Results Matter” is a child and family outcomes system designed to improve programs and support for all children ages 0-5 served by school districts, the Early Development Network and their partners
what does results matter have to do with rti
What does Results Matter have to do with RtI?
  • Individual Progress Monitoring
    • Early childhood service providers are becoming more skilled
  • Data Based Decision Making
    • Service providers are using data for program evaluation and to measure overall student progress
natural environment lre
Natural Environment/LRE
  • IDEA 2004
    • Part C (ages 0-3) “Natural Environment” means settings that are natural or normal for the child’s same age peers who have no disabilities
    • Part B (ages 3-5) “Least Restrictive Environment” means services are, to the maximum extent appropriate, provided in natural environments including the home and community settings in which children without disabilities participate
RtI tiered system is directly aligned with supporting children in their natural and least restrictive environments
  • Evidence-Based/Developmentally appropriate practices
    • direct benefit to “targeted” students
    • indirect benefit to all children in LRE and natural environments
service delivery
Service Delivery
  • NDE has put extensive time and effort into research and training for more effective team functioning and service delivery
  • Current initiative in place that directly supports integration of services
primary service provider
Primary Service Provider
  • One team member becomes the Primary Service Provider or PSP
  • PSP develops a relationship with the child’s primary caregivers
  • Early childhood team engages in joint planning—PSP integrates this information during visits with the family
  • Integration of Services (Quality indicator of RtI)
  • Nebraska has been refining a “Primary Service Provider as Coach” model for several years (PDFI)
  • Coaching: “an interactive process of observation, reflection, and action in which a coach promotes, directly and/or indirectly, a learner’s ability to support a child’s participation in family and community contexts”
    • Strongly supported by research on adult learning
best practices regarding assessment
Best Practices regarding Assessment
  • Division for Early Childhood (DEC) of the Council for Exceptional Children and the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC)
    • Overwhelming research to support assessment approaches that are developmentally appropriate in terms of their purpose, content and method
authentic assessment
Authentic Assessment
  • Recommended practices emphasize authentic assessment approach
    • Ecological reference or occurring in familiar environment
    • Involvement of child’s family/caregivers
    • Use of a variety of methods for collecting information
play assessment and intervention
Play Assessment and Intervention
  • Natural environment
  • Parent friendly
  • Staff friendly
play assessment and intervention1
Play Assessment and Intervention
  • Tier one
    • Observation of play
    • Screen for children’s needs
  • Tier two
    • Small group interventions
    • Regular progress monitoring
  • Tier three
    • More intense interventions and progress monitoring
pilot study
Pilot Study
  • Four EC classrooms
  • Play assessment/intervention training
  • Data collection – universal screening
  • Small group interventions
    • Monitor progress
long term goals
Long-term Goals
  • Longitudinal data on play assessment and intervention
  • Expand to behavioral concerns
  • Investigate predictive validity of play
    • Later pre-academic and academic skills
contact us for more information
Contact us for more information
  • Lisa Kelly-Vance

University of Nebraska-Omaha



  • Kristy Feden

Papillion-LaVista Schools